In the Telegraph:
The story of Miss Hou's ascent to the upper echelons of world chess is both the chronicle of single-minded ambition and the everyday tale of a Chinese only child born to hardworking parents who would sacrifice everything for their child's achievements.
She dismisses the suggestion that her mother was a "Tigermom" in the mould of Amy Chua, the Yale Law professor, whose unapologetic paeon to tough Chinese parenting, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior caused such furore recently.
"My parents always gave me a choice about playing, but they said that if I wanted to play chess, then I should focus on it completely," she says, adding that such attitudes and parental expectations are simply the norm for Chinese children. The difference is her success.
Miss Hou says that her sheer love for the game protected her from the stress that, according to a joint Chinese-UK study published in the British Medical Association's Archives of Disease in Childhood journal last year, afflicts about a third of primary school age children in China.